METHODICALLY stamping its class, Rain or Shine was able to pick Blackwater apart, 107-93, to return to its winning ways and claim solo first place in the 2016-17 Philippine Basketball Association Philippine Cup Friday night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
In his first start for the Elasto Painters, James Yap produced his best game for his new team thus far, tallying a game-high 15 points and five rebounds to lead the way.
Four more Painters tallied in twin-digits to provide him ample support.
Adding another win into its record, Rain or Shine improved to 3-1 to regain solo leadership, while Blackwater suffered its second straight loss and fell to 2-2.
“The difference in this game is we were moving the ball better. Lagi ko ine-emphasize ‘yung ball movement. And I think, we have to work on the turnovers,” said Rain or Shine coach Caloy Garcia.
Though the two teams were going neck-to-neck in the first half, Rain or Shine came away with a 46-39 advantage at the turn after a crucial 8-2 run to end the second quarter.
The E-Painters banked on their momentum to erect a decisive third wherein they took a commanding 68-55 advantage with less than four minutes left in the period after back-to-back baskets from Gabe Norwood.
Rain or Shine held the same amount of lead, 72-59, heading into the fourth and blew the game wide open and more emphatically in the payoff period.
The Painters led as much as 22 points, 99-77, around six minutes remaining.
For today, a game is also scheduled as streaking Phoenix Petroleum (2-1), winner of two straight, aims on keeping its momentum and earning a share of tournament lead when it tests Star (1-2) at 5 p.m. at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
Then tomorrow at the Araneta Coliseum, a twin-bill playdate is set as defending champion San Miguel Beer (2-1) battles woeful Mahindra (0-3), while GlobalPort (2-1) faces a tough challenge from Barangay Ginebra (1-1).
RAIN OR SHINE 107—Yap 15, Almazan 14, Ponferada 13, Chan 11, Trollano 11, Norwood 9, Ahanmisi 8, Belga 8, Washington 7, Cruz 6, Tolomia 5, Ibanes 0, Matias 0.
BLACKWATER 93—Aguilar 15, Belo 13, Dela Cruz 12, Sena 12, Buenafe 11, Pascual 8, Gamalinda 7, Pinto 6, Cervantes 4, Miranda 3, Ababou 2, Banal 0, Forrester 0, Perez 0.
Quarterscores: 16-19, 46-39, 75-59, 107-93
© MST SPORTS